The automotive community was in shock today after a well-known and well-respected journalist let it be known that he does not like diesel-powered cars.
“I’ve never cared for them, really,” said Jimmy “Jim” Hammer-James, a former syndicated automotive columnist for Knight-Rider News, who asked that he not be named for fear of reprisals.
“There’s nothing inherently wrong with diesels,” Hammer-James the journalist told Autoblopnik. “I just don’t like them, and I don’t understand why my colleagues get so excited about them. Sure, they get great fuel economy if you drive five miles per hour under the speed limit on level ground in a perfectly straight line with the A/C off and the sunroof closed, but they’re noisy and the fuel sticks to your shoes and stinks up your car. When my readers tell me they need a car that gets great gas mileage, I tell them to buy a Prius.”
“This creates a serious credibility problem for our industry,” said Berton Bertonsmyth, president of Consolidated Reporters and Automotive Professionals, a trade group for auto writers. “An automotive reporter who doesn’t like diesels is like… is like…”
“Like a germaphobe who doesn’t like soap,” finished his colleague Bill Fannybatter, president of Consolidated Reporters for Awesomely Slick Similes.
Hammer-James the unnamed journalist says he’s surprised at the vitriol he’s received from his colleagues after voicing his opinions on diesels.
“It’s like there’s some sort of unwritten code,” he said. “If you don’t love diesels, you’re not a real auto critic. People say I must hate cars, or I must not be an enthusiast. I’ve owned three BMWs, I’ve got a showroom-condition ’64 GTO, and I’m helping a friend restore his Jaguar E-Type. I love cars. I just don’t like diesels.”
“He’s worse than a mommyblogger,” said Warry Lebster of Toad and Rrack, who asked that we change his name and his publication in order to ensure his anonymity. “He’s worse than a lifestyle journalist. He’s not one of us.”
UPDATE: Autoblopnik has learned that Hammer-James the subject of this story is unhurt after a failed attack by fellow journalists, who doused him with diesel fuel and attempted to set him alight before realizing that diesel fuel does not burn readily.
A study sponsored by the General Office of the National Association for Dealership Studies shows that giant inflatable gorillas on dealership rooftops can increase car sales by up to 14%.
“We believe it has something to do with man’s close connection to primates,” said GO-NADS spokesman Bill Monthly. “Something about a twenty-foot-tall blow-up ape seems to connect with consumers on a subconscious level. We surveyed dealerships with a wide variety of giant inflatable decorations, including giant inflatable dinosaurs, giant inflatable beavers, and giant inflatable sombreros, and while most saw at least some increase in sales, none could match the consistent gains seen by dealerships with giant inflatable gorillas.”
Monthly noted that not all dealers with giant inflatable objects on the roof saw the same results.
“One dealership in the study with a giant inflatable platypus on the roof had significantly lower sales,” he said. “However, a slaughterhouse and fish processing plant opened across the street during the same week as the study, plus the dealer had recently hired a seven-piece mariachi band and a new sales manager with a bad attitude and excessively foul body odor. We suspect these other factors may have skewed the results.”
While the presence of a giant inflatable gorilla may seem moronic and patronizing, the big air-filled primates do appear to resonate with consumers. Michelle Serious-Blister, a 25 year old receptionist from Passingzone, Wisconsin, said the inflatable gorilla perched atop her local Ford dealership was a major factor in her purchase decision.
“My husband and I wanted to trade in our Toyota Camry because the payments and gas mileage were really straining our finances,” she said. “We had decided on a two-year-old Honda Fit we found on Craigslist, but when we drove past the giant gorilla at Passable Ford, we just had to stop in. We bought a brand-new F350 Super Duty King Ranch V10 long bed dually, and we couldn’t be happier!”
© Autoblopnik — Hat tip to Mark Wrenchedin
A group of automotive journalists had a tearful reunion with their families and long-term press cars after bad weather trapped them at a press event for nearly twenty hours.
“It was terrible, just terrible,” whined Benny Dimschitz, associating edited contributor for DimshchitzOnCars.com. “After our flights were cancelled, we returned to the hotel to find that our 3-room suites were occupied by the European wave, so we were downgraded to deluxe king suites with an ocean view. And the dinner was a nightmare! Have you ever had surf-and-turf at a 5-star hotel restaurant? The filet mignon was slightly overdone and the lobster was a bit chewy. No one should have to endure treatment like this, even if they aren’t paying.”
“In all my years of travelling on the car manufacturers’ dime, I’ve never seen a travesty like this,” moaned Maughrk Yaughn of Autoweak. “They didn’t even have individual Town Cars to take us back to the hotel. They put us together in a group and made us… made us ride on a… I’m sorry, I don’t usually cry… a luxury motorcoach. Oh, how can people be so cruel?”
Other journalists told Autoblopnik about massive shortages at the hotel, which ran out of foie gras shortly before 9:00 pm and could only serve house wine. With no shuttle service to dinner, some journalists resorted to consuming $8 bags of M&Ms and $6 sodas from their hotel room honor bars rather than risk the nearly 50-yard walk to the hotel restaurant. One small group of journalists reportedly decided to visit a nearby bistro, but their plan was scuttled when they learned they would have to pay for their own taxicab.
“Once the weather cleared and the airport re-opened, we figured we were home free,” said Cart and Diver correspondent Barry Windbag. “But when we got to the airport, we learned that there were no first-class upgrades available on our rescheduled flights. I had to fly two hours in extra-legroom coach. It was horrifying. I actually started to write out my will on the back of a barf bag.”
© Autoblopnik – Hat tip to Mark Vaughn
South Korean automaker Hyundai has been arrested and charged with murder after fellow South Korean automaker Kia was found shot to death inside Hyundai’s gated residence in Fountain Valley, California.
Hyundai, through it’s lawyer Ivana Soudabastad, claims that the Kia shooting was accidental, and that Hyundai simply mistook Kia for an intruder.
“Fountain Valley is the tenth most dangerous city in Orange County,” explained Hyundai spokesexplainor Chris “Horse” Ford. “It’s only natural that we’d want to protect ourselves against threats.”
While the two companies present a unified front to the outside world, insiders talk of rising tensions between Hyundai and its on-again, off-again subsidiary.
“On the outside, it looks like they had a loving relationship,” said Hyundai marketing executive Ki Ya, speaking on condition of anonymity, “but behind closed doors, there was a lot of violence and manipulation. Come on — do you really think Kia wanted the US-market Cadenza to be an Azera clone instead of the rear-drive K9?”
Several news reports have chronicled rising tensions between the two related companies. Though Kia is a subsidiary of Hyundai, analysts say their more modern designs have been eating into Hyundai’s sales.
“Hyundai has been undergoing a product revolution,” analyzed automotive analyst Paul Eisenstadtician of The Detroit Booger. “But Kia’s designs are proving more popular with buyers in both North America and South Korea. Hyundai doesn’t like to show it, but that’s a real problem for them.”
“Hyundai has always been jealous of Kia’s success,” said Ya our anonymous source. “Kia is only supposed to nip at Hyundai’s ankles. Instead, Kia has cut them off at the knees.”